Think back to your Red Dead Redemption days. You remember? Those blessed hours spent running through the countryside, shooting people and skinning animals? Of course you do.
Just as I’m sure you remember the mind-numbing hours you spent playing the knife mini-game and gambling on liar’s dice. Just one more time, one more time, and I’m sure you won’t nick your finger this time, or lose all your money.
But guys! Those are real games! You can play them in real life! (Proceed with caution for the knife one.)
And if you like them enough to play them in real life (seriously, dude, don’t cut off all your fingers), then the fast-paced card game Coup is sure to fuel that gambling itch in your heart.
Released by Lone Oak Games, Inc. in 2012, Coup takes place in a future where money rules the world and players try to screw people over to get more money. Each player has two “influences,” or character cards, they hide from the other players. These influences give players special actions that they can use to access more money — or, players can lie and say they have an influence that they actually don’t have, and other players can gamble with their own influences by calling their bluff (meaning if one player calls another’s bluff and the former is wrong, they lose one of their influences). As soon as someone loses both of their influences, they’re forced into “exile” and have lost the game.
Last man standing wins.
Up to six people can play, and here’s where having a large social circle works in your favor. This game takes up to 20 minutes tops to play, and that’s only if you like to bicker and chuckle a lot with your cohorts. Seriously. If you play with two people, there’s a winner in, like, two minutes — if that.
So if you want to play and have a fun time doing it, you’re going to have to turn some acquaintances into friends as you lie to their faces and kill their influence.
Because as much fun as having more people to play with is, bluffing is the real clincher for this game. Though it’s easy to take your guaranteed one token, it’s more fun to say you have a certain influence that allows you to grab three tokens — and it’s even more exciting when you know that someone risks losing their influence if they accuse you.
Bluffing games aren’t for everyone. It’s easy to lie on Red Dead Redemption because your opponents are AI and they can’t catch you on your tells.
But if you have a lot of friends and enjoy telling silly little lies, pick up a copy of Coup for about 15 bucks.
Of course, if you don’t like the game, you can always try to avoid stabbing your hand with a knife (last time, I’m serious, don’t play this game in real life unless you’re not afraid).